The results for Assembly Elections 2023 in four states -- Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh will be announced on Sunday, December 3, followed by Mizoram a day later on December 4. The elections in these five states is being seen as a litmus test ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be eyeing a third term amid strong opposition from the newly formed INDIA alliance.
The counting of votes for the aforementioned four states will begin at 8 AM IST on Sunday. Over the past few months, leaders from various political parties led a high-octane electoral campaign across the five states on issues ranging from allegations of corruption to welfare-related poll promises. Ahead of the results, here is a recap of elections in the five states.
Telangana Assembly Elections 2023
Voting for 119 assembly seats in Telangana was held on November 30. The state recorded a voter turnout of 71.34 per cent, a dip of about two percentage points from the 73.37 per cent recorded in the 2018 elections. BRS Supremo and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is eyeing a third term, while the Congress and BJP are attempting to unseat the BRS which has been in power since the formation of the state in 2014.
The BRS ran its campaign around the KCR government's flagship welfare measures, the party's struggle to achieve Telangana statehood and the previous Congress regime's failures. The Congress highlighted corruption allegations against the BRS government while reiterating its “six guarantees”. The BJP, which is a distant third contender in the race for power, stressed on the necessity of “double engine government” and pointed to “family rule" of KCR.
Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2023
Voting for 199 assembly seats in Rajasthan was held on November 25. The state recorded a voter turnout of 75.45 per cent, marginally higher than the 74.71 per cent turnout recorded during the previous elections in 2018. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government is battling a wave of anti-incumbency, while the BJP is eyeing a return in the state.
In what could be a setback to the Congress, most pollsters predicted an edge for the BJP in Rajasthan. Three exit polls in their upper limit forecast a Congress win in the desert state.
Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections 2023
Voting for 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh was held on November 17. The state recorded a voter turnout of 77.82 per cent, 2.19 per cent more than the 2018 elections. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government is looking to retain power in the state, while the Congress is aiming to unseat the incumbent government.
The BJP ran its campaign around existing schemes like ‘Ladli Behna Yojana’, asserting that the "double engine government" of the BJP at the Centre and in MP had brought about huge development, and the popularity of PM Narendra Modi. The Congress on the other hand, is largely banking on former chief minister and the party's current chief Kamal Nath.
Many exit polls have given an edge to incumbent BJP over Congress in what was a straight contest between two main parties. The result will be declared on December 3 -- the same day in 1984 when toxic gas leak from the now-defunct Union Carbide factory killed thousands of people in Bhopal.
Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2023
Voting for the 90-member Assembly in Chhattisgarh was held in two phases on November 7 and 17 amid a looming threat of violence. The state recorded a voter turnout of 76.31 per cent, which was slightly lower than the 76.88 per cent recorded in the 2018 Assembly polls. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress is looking to retain power in the state, while the opposition BJP is seeking to make a comeback in the state which it ruled for 15 years non-stop -- from 2003 to 2018.
The Congress based its campaign around Baghel government's schemes for farmers, women, tribals and Dalits. The BJP accused Baghel over the alleged betting app scam and religious conversion. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some regional outfits are also in the fray.
Many exit polls predicted a close fight between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP but said that Congress had an advantage.
Mizoram Assembly Elections 2023
Voting for the 40-member Mizoram Assembly was held on November 7. The state recorded a voter turnout of more than 80 per cent. In the 2018 elections, the total voter turnout was 80.03 per cent, according to the Election Commission of India's (ECI) data. The ruling Mizo National Front is facing a direct contest from main opposition party Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and Congress.
MNF based its campaign on the issue of refugees and internally displaced people from Myanmar, Bangladesh and Manipur and Mizo sub-nationalism along with reiterating the development in the state over the last five years despite financial constraints triggered by Covid-19. The opposition focused on failures of the MNF government in fulfilling its promises, including implementation of the flagship programme, Socio Economic Development (SEDP), construction of flyovers, good roads, among others.
Many exit polls indicated a possibility of a hung House in Mizoram with ZPM and MNF locked in a tight race. The Congress and the BJP were shown lagging behind in the northeastern state.
While earlier, the results for Mizoram elections were to be announced December 3, several political parties, churches, civil society groups and student bodies demanded that the date of counting of votes be changed on account of it being a Sunday, a holy day in the Christian-majority state. Heeding to their demands, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday changed the date to December 4.